ISWAN has launched a new self-help guide to provide seafarers with guidance on how best to enhance their wellbeing despite many of the challenges of life at sea. This guide brings together evidence from the field of Positive Psychology to help seafarers recognize critical elements of their psychological wellbeing, and provides straightforward, practical tips that could help while they’re away at sea.
Despite an estimated total of 1,5 million workforce in the maritime industry, and although each one of us depends on shipping in everyday life, ironically it is an industry most of the world does not have much insight about. The video published by BBC shows the pressures faced by people working at sea.
David Nichol, Thomas Miller Hellas, talks about important issues related to crew mental health, highlighting that a broad range of factors, including anxiety, social isolation, pressure of work and disturbed sleep, can negatively influence the mental health of seafarers. Crew fitness evaluations have previously given emphasis to physical health and it is only relatively recently that due attention is being given to the mental wellbeing of seafarers. Therefore, the UK P&I Club places a high priority on the matter by raising awareness to the problem and in providing support and advice to its members.
IMO has issued a circular informing that a plague outbreak in Madagascar has spread to the capital and port towns, according to World Health Organisation. So far, there is no justification at this stage for restrictions on travel or trade, however, operators are advised to review specific guide issued by WHO which draws attention on lessons learned from recent disease outbreaks to provide substantive public health guidance.
The American P&I Club issued a report which focuses on mental wellness, as an important aspect of the health and wellbeing of the crew aboard a ship, reminding that mental breakdowns are often the cause of incidents at sea.
The UK P&I Club provides lessons for summertime safety onboard discussing the importance of knowing the signs of heat stroke. The Club recently reported the death of two crew members who were found unresponsive onboard, apparently suffering from heat stroke and notes that particularly at this time of year, this is not an isolated incident.
A short film commissioned by SRI highlights the major issue of abandonment of ships and their crews in foreign ports around the world. When abandoned, seafarers have to handle difficult situations, including isolation and lack of food or heating, which make them dependent on the local environment
The Britannia P&I Club has released the second part of its ‘Health Watch’ publication focusing this time on mental health issues, weight and body mass index (BMI), diet and exercise, back pain and malaria. The Club says that daily changes in lifestyle such as adopting a balanced and healthy diet and exercise can have a positive impact on crew members’ health and suggests to adopt small changes in daily routine life as soon as possible.
The UK P&I Club comments on the fact many crewmembers fail pre-sea medical examinations, due to a combination of serious illnesses linked to obesity, informing that a body mass index of 25 or above can signify a serious weight problem. Being overweight may interfere with the seafarer’s role and performance on-board.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, The Mission to Seafarers has taken the opportunity to highlight the many health challenges faced by seafarers and calls on the industry to offer wider services that could help safeguard their welfare.
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